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Meet The Entrepreneurs - Nazira Ghazi

Meet The Entrepreneurs - Nazira Ghazi

24-year old Nazira Ghazi is a resident of Durgapur. After completing her 10th grade, like most villagers, her parents started looking for suitable match for her. But Nazira was determined and clear about the kind life she wanted to lead. "When my parents started to discuss about my marriage, I objected. I wanted to go for higher education and become self-sufficient before settling," says Nazira.

Being from a poor family, her parents couldn't afford to educate her. Poor financial conditions combined with societal pressures led to her parents consider her as a 'burden'. "When I opposed early marriage everyone said that it's the responsibility of parents to marry off their daughter... unmarried daughters are a burden," says Nazira.

Once she convinced her parents against the idea of marrying so early, the next challenge was to arrange money for her education. With determination and courage as her weapons, she approached a local NGO and came across the Usha Silai training programme. In seven days, she learnt stitching and was given a certificate and a free sewing machine. The certificate level course was her first impetus towards a stable future. Soon she started stitching her own designs. She would wear her own creations as part of her promotions. And it worked. People took notice of her fresh and newly stitched clothes. "This encouraged me to join the Usha Silai School as a teacher and with the money I earned, I decided to finance my education," she says.

What started off with just 4-5 students, soon expanded to 35 students. Nazira says the demand for the course is high and so she teaches in batches, "The demand is such that when new people enroll, I have to create batches for them to provide quality teaching," she says. It so happens that most of her students are older than her, but they respect her as their teacher and look upto her as their role model. "Though out of respect but it is funny when people call me elder sister," laughs Nazira.

Most of her students are from similar economic backward and have to struggle to make ends meet. Nazira considers teaching as a duty and hence she gives counselling sessions to women who wish to study or work. "There are divorcees, widows and women who are socially or financially deprived; I try to create a better life for them," says Nazira.

When she had joined the training programme she came across many women who were there to create their own identity and fight their adverse circumstances. She remembers one of her fellow students, particularly. "We had a student who could not marry because she was considered dark skinned. It was only her hard work and talent that helped her overcome her difficulties and rise above her troubles. Now she runs her own Sillai school," recollects Nazira.

After years of struggle, hard work and desire to being financially independent, today not only has Nazira financed her own higher education, but she has also supported her family in running the household. Her parents are extremely proud of her achievements and realise that given an equal opportunity, there is nothing a man can achieve that a woman can't.

Adopt a Silai School

Adopt a Silai School

Do you want to be a part of the huge change that Usha Silai School is bringing about in the lives of millions of rural women? With just a simple click of a button, you can now contribute towards the opening of an Usha Silai School or support various other aspects of the school.

About the Initiative

About the Initiative

Kushalta Ke Kadam, an initiative by NDTV and USHA, aims at empowering women from rural India and encourages them to become entrepreneurs by taking up sewing and training others in their respective communities. Since 2011 Usha Silai Campaign has trained more than 3.95 lakh rural women within five years, with 17,000 Silai schools, spanning over 9272 Indian villages in India.

 

Kushalta Ke Kadam in Season 4 has returned with new goals and vision. The new season will witness the establishment of the new cluster in Kashmir, apart from the existing four clusters setup last year. The women from volatile Kashmir will work with well-known fashion designer Rohit Bal and get an unique opportunity to learn from him and make clothes for him. The work done by the Silai School women will be presented at Lakme Fashion week 2019.

 

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